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Messages - bmathison1972

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1
Unknown / Sheep Ked (unknown manufacturer)
« on: Today at 06:35:31 PM »
Walk-around of a rather bizarre creature in toy form, a sheep ked Melophagus ovinus (Linnaeus, 1758), a wingless fly species that lives as an ectoparasite on sheep. Native to the Palearctic, it occurs nearly worldwide in sheep-raising regions.

I bought this figure at a dollar store back in 2000. It is a rehash of some of the vintage 'jiggler' figures of the 1950s-1970s (called jigglers because they are made of a soft, rubbery plastic).

The figure is rather simple but I thought I would showcase it since it represents a species that many people would never guess would ever be made. That, and I am a parasitologist (although I focus on human parasites, not veterinary unless they are zoonotic).

On to the pics:







With another vintage jiggler, originally distributed by Doon Vending Services (DVS) to be sold in bubble-gum machines.




2
Last night I went to the Loveland Living Planet aquarium in Draper, UT where they have a living bee hive as one of their exhibits. I was pleasantly surprised to see the outside of the display was decorated with a lot of Safari Incredible Creatures honey bees!


3
Forum business / Re: Forum changes
« on: June 22, 2018, 06:28:33 PM »
 ...odd figures by unknown brands are among my favorites. I'll have to fill up this child board some more!

4
Forum business / Re: Forum changes
« on: June 22, 2018, 06:26:43 PM »
I've created new walk-around child boards for Lontic/Nayab, Unknown manufacturers, and Play Visions.

Fantastic, thanks Adam

5
wow this is an incredible model. If I was more taxonomically diverse I am sure I'd have this one too.  ;D

6
Collections / Re: Recent acquisitions
« on: June 20, 2018, 01:44:10 PM »
Very nice. I ordered mine through Brett so I probably won't get them for a short while. No new species but I'm excited to get species from a new company.

7
Yowies / Re: Devils hole Pupfish (Yowies - USA)
« on: June 19, 2018, 01:02:43 AM »
This is the only one that I have on purpose (the fennec fox was sent along as well, just because). It's a great figure, it's too bad that they keep leaving fish out of their release lines.

at least you got something this time ;-). None of the US line has any arthropods. Not surprising since they seem to be focusing on endangered species.

8
Forum business / Re: Forum changes
« on: June 17, 2018, 02:06:21 PM »
I just noticed if you click on the section 'Reviews and Walkarounds' or, on right bar, 'Read Recent Reviews and Walkarounds', all of these new Yowies reviews are not showing up? Did something not carry over when the child board was made?

Well spotted. Yes, I need to add the new child boards to the list...will do it now.

Any thoughts on my suggestions to rejig the forum?

Would general discussions for a certain company be intermixed with walkarounds? Personally I like walkarounds and reviews distinct (easier to search among them)

9
Forum business / Re: Forum changes
« on: June 17, 2018, 01:06:50 PM »
I just noticed if you click on the section 'Reviews and Walkarounds' or, on right bar, 'Read Recent Reviews and Walkarounds', all of these new Yowies reviews are not showing up? Did something not carry over when the child board was made?

10
Clearly a three-toed...

No, it is a two-toed (they have two on the front and three on the hind limbs)

11
Other/Misc. / Re: Giant Japanese Hornet (Mushibuchi)
« on: June 14, 2018, 11:38:26 AM »
Hmmmm...that might just work. I'll look into it, thanks!

12
Other/Misc. / Giant Japanese Hornet (Mushibuchi)
« on: June 13, 2018, 10:19:02 PM »
Walkaround of the giant Japanese hornet, Vespa mandarinia (Smith, 1852) by Mushibuchi (year unknown). I have this figure thanks to Brett who stumbled upon it on YAJ. I was unfamiliar with the brand. Some Google searching shows they have a few other insects including what must be the only figure of a member of the order Plecoptera as well as a flying dung beetle suggestive of Heliocopris! Vespa mandarinia is not uncommonly made in toy/figure form and I have additional figures by Kaiyodo (2x), Subarudo, Rement, Yujin, Break Co., and a larva by Shineg. I believe Takara Tomy A.R.T.S. also did one (which is probably similar if not identical to the Subarudo one).

This figure is a plastic model kit. It comes in 24 pieces: head; thorax; 5 abdominal pieces; stinger; 6 legs; 2 mandibles; 2 antennae; 2 eyes; 4 wings. The figure was intended to be assembled using ball joints (not supplied) to make the final product articulated. However, I used super glue and rigged small pieces of plastic to make everthing a secure, permanent attatchment. For one reason, I found the ball joints hard to come by without ordering from overseas, and secondly I am not a fan of articulated figures if I can help it.

The plastic is...different it seems. It is kinds of waxy (maybe I should have cleaned or treated it first?). I wanted to do all the coloring with Pitt pens, but the plastic rejected the ink somewhat. I had to use acrylic paint for the brown portions. I did use orange Pitt pens over the yellow base, however. Because the ink did not outright cover the yellow, it gave it a subtle orange tint to a yellow background. I actually like it better (although it may not show up well in the images)! I also used some black Pitt pens to highlight the brown banding on the abdomen. I coated everything with satin varnish before I glued the parts together. This plastic is really prone to chipping (even with the varnish coat) and I was periodically doing touch-ups. I am happy with the color but not sure how well it will show up in the pics. Another frustrating thing is with the way the wings were attached to the mold casts, it creates notches in three of the wings.

The figure is designed to be in flight and I am still trying to come up with a safe and attractive way to display it. The final product is 11 centimeters long (not including 2 additional centimeters for the stinger), with a wingspan of 17 centimeters and a height (with extended legs) of 12 centimeters. It is advertised as being 3:1 scale.

Not sure if I will pursue others in the series. I have seen the mantis on YAJ. If I see the plecopteran I would probably have to get that one as well as the (Heliocopris?) which may also be hard to refuse.

P.S. Has anyone noticed that until now I have been misspelling the species name 'mandarina'? One of my earlier figures must have been marketed with a misspelling...

On to the pics (this is a very image-heavy post):





























the final product (again, need to find a good and safe way to display):








13
Forum business / Re: Forum changes
« on: June 11, 2018, 01:40:47 PM »
Great, very nice! Tough the shoebill and Solomon Islands skink images looks like phantasmagoric faded...

Bold images indicate "unread messages". Faded images indicate "no unread messages". So, they change and are different for each member. All bold for guests.  :)

You still have two giraffes. Want to replace one? If so, how about a freshwater fish for Sean since he's one of the more active people here :)

14
Forum business / Re: Forum changes
« on: June 11, 2018, 12:16:13 AM »
I've added animal-themed icons for the different boards. :)) What do you think?

I really like them!

15
Animal toy lines / Re: Little Critterz
« on: June 07, 2018, 02:32:52 PM »
I am very fond of these cute little critterz.

I noticed you've left the figures attached to the cardboard backing, whereas I removed mine. It was glued on well! Now I wonder, was I supposed to leave it attached, i.e. is the card intended to be a proper base, or is it just a matter of preference?

The cardboard base attached to the Little Critterz Bonobo Baby was printed, "Soak in water to remove glue." I pulled the cardboard off first, then soaked the figure. The bottom of the feet scarped cleaned with a fingernail.

Personally I prefer to keep the cardboard labels on them. Not sure why but I like to keep them that way :)

16
Other/Misc. / Re: Butterflies and Other Insects (French Feves)
« on: June 06, 2018, 09:49:13 PM »
3. l'Argus vert, green hairstreak, Callophyrus rubi
4. Le cuivre, copper butterfly, Lycaeninae, gen. sp. [form does not fit for lycaenids, however]
5. L'exotique, ?
8. L'azure, common blue, Polyommatus icarus

Disguised with these French names, but clearly inspired by very different butterflies... Ornithoptera priamus, a Charaxinae, a Saturniidae and another Ornithoptera, kinda victoriae-type

yes the French assignments for this set were baffling.

17
Are you sure you inserted the mandibles correctly? In the last image, with the beetle being seen in profile, I would say that the mandibles are upside-down...

I think you are correct thanks. I just fixed them.

18
Walkaround of the giraffe stag beetle, Prosopocoilus giraffa (Olivier, 1789) by Kaiyodo Collection of Natural History, No. 1 (year unknown). I became aware of this figure thanks to Brett, who stumbled upon it on YAJ. It was very expensive, but it's hard to not pursue a Kaiyodo figure. According to Beetle Guy, there were several others in the set (which I am sure he will list and/or illustrate in this post). This species is the largest member of its genus and is distributed from India to Indonesia. It is commonly made by Japanese manufacturers (especially Sega).

The figure is a resin model kit. It comes in 21 pieces: head + pronotum; remainder of thorax + abdomen; 6 legs (minus tarsi); 6 tarsi; 2 antennae; 2 labial palps; 2 maxillary palps; a pair of galae. The tarsi are silver metal and the galae are essentially a wire brush; everything else is black resin. The attatchment points are all smooth; there are no pegs, holes, etc for attachment. As such, glue or another adhesive is necessary for assembly.

The two main body pieces are very heavy. I had to use a two-part epoxy to secure them (especially since the attatchment points were smooth). I also used the epoxy to attach the metal tarsi to the legs. The legs and mouthparts were attached with super glue. Because the species is naturally black, the only painting I did was the eyes, which I made grey. After the glue dried, I cleaned up excess glue with ethyl acetate and used satin varnish to protect the painted eyes and additional securing of the appendages.

The final product is 19.5 centimeters (including mandibles, but not legs), and the kit is advertised as being 2:1. It is a very large and impressive model! Because of the size, expense, and difficulties with securing parts I probably will not pursue others in this series, unless they represent unique or rarely-made species (of course, that's easy to say now...I give in easily...).

On to pics:

















final product:



alongside the boxed DeAgostini figure (which is molded from an actual specimen) and the Sega DX figure:




19
Classifieds / Re: New on Ebay
« on: June 04, 2018, 12:50:12 AM »
Interesting set of Agatsuma "weird animals": https://www.ebay.com/itm/Agatsuma-weird-animal-set-of-9-secret-snake-MIP-w-boxes-Japan-not-Kaiyodo/202317572759

Looks like that tardigrade is in there for the Sacred Order of Tardegrade Collectors. Have these received the walk-around treatment yet?

It is indeed a series of strange animals...and definitely the biggest tardigrade model! I think...

I also believe that they were discussed somewhere around here, but not sure when.

I could have sworn @brontodocus did a walkaround of the tardigrade, but I cannot find it in the Other/Miscellaneous section. I have it (of course) and could do a walkaround if so desired. I have all my tardigrades (4 of them) in the Blaine's Bug of the Day thread.

20
Animal toys (general) / Re: Chinamals or Chanimals?
« on: June 03, 2018, 08:44:47 PM »
The word 'Chinasaur' is widely used by collectors to refer to dinosaur toys created by unknown companies but marked "made in China" (or unmarked and presumed to be made in China or thereabouts). However, there doesn't seem to be a similar term for animal toys. I'm surely not the the first person to wonder about this? Let me know if I've missed a thread.

If there isn't such a term, could we create one? How about 'Chanimals'? Or 'Chinamals'?

I have seen Chinamals used. And of course I periodically use 'Chinabugs'.

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